Only Malawians can bring change

After President Barak Obama was elected into power in the United States of America, most Africans might have been asking what he was to do for African countries just because he is linked to Africa because his father was from Kenya.

To say the truth, such is a very retrogressive way of thinking. Obama is an American and was elected by the people of America to serve them.

In fact, the mentality of expecting help from outside all the time does not help at all. In the same vein, it is naïve for one to think that someone has to come from outside to bring change in Malawi. Just imagine, foreign observers on elections have no time to wait for the conclusion. To them, if voting has been done without disturbances, then the election is free and fair. They seem not to care about the real outcome. Their statements of ‘free and fair’ no longer makes much sense.

As it were, it had to take Malawians themselves to get rid of the colonial government and bring independence. Once it was people of this country who fought against one-party rule and brought in multiparty democracy. At the moment, it is Malawians who are going to bring change. There is nothing to call for a regime change if people are faced with a government which does not deliver.

No one should underestimate the capabilities of Malawians whenever they demand for change. They might be poor but that does not necessarily mean they are not intelligent enough. There are so many examples which can prove this. For the first-time in a multiparty democracy Malawians cannot take an election loss lying down. Members of Parliament have been dragged to court whenever their competitors think their loss was not genuine.

The country has even witnessed a landmark trial, whereby the losing presidential candidates of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM, have challenged President Peter Mutharika and the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) in the constitutional court. The two opposition leaders—Lazarus Chakwera and Saulos Chilima—claim that the May 2019 elections were fraudulent, which led to their loss, and Mutharika was declared a winner. The opposition leaders want to know the truth and they have not been deterred by cynical statements that losers always cry foul.

Whatever will be the outcome of this case, Malawi will no longer be the same. What remains is for Malawi to do away with the lousy law of swearing-in a President before all election queries have been settled.

Fortunately, Chakwera and Chilima have shown a lot of courage to take President Mutharika to court.

This will be the way to go even in future. It must be emphasised that change will come by the people of Malawi. Under Mutharika’s government, abject poverty is at the lowest ebb. Hence, the country seems to be a fertile ground for bribery by powers that be in order to silence the down-trodden as well as government critics.

Fortunately, there are organisations such as Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) and other individuals who are leaving no stone unturned in speaking for the voiceless. To show their dedication, they have been able to summon more than one million people on the streets to demonstrate. This has never happened before in Malawi. Doubters about the capability of Malawians should by now know that people are ready to take up the challenge for change. Indeed, change will come soon.

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